Observation – 3/26/2014 – Marion Lake, Flathead Range

 

FLATHEAD AVALANCHE CENTER

Observer Information

 

Date: 3/26/2014

Time:11:00am

Name: Gary Ludwig  Matt Hebert  Jeremy Morrone Lindsay Fansler

 

DAILY FIELD WEATHER SUMMARY

 

ZONE: Marion Lake

MT RANGE: Middle Fork

ELEV. RANGE: 4100-6800

 

SKY

PRECIP

Type/Rate

Temperature

RIDGETOP WIND (mph) (actual or est)

HN24  est @ Elev.

HS est @ Elev.

Trailbreaking/Riding Conditons

Skiing/Riding Quality

AM

PM

AM

PM

Hi

Low

Speed

Dir

0

?

Easy up to Marion Lake, more difficult above due to deep snow

Excellent! Deep and light up high.  More dense and surfy down low

 

 

Scattered snow squalls

 

40f

28f

0-10

SW

                               

 

Weather Comments

q  SKY: Mostly cloudy, a bit of sun at times

 

q  PRECIP: Occasional light snow showers

 

q  WIND: SW, varied from calm to 5-10 mph in snow squalls

 

SNOWPACK AND AVALANCHE FACTORS

q  SNOW SURFACE: Sun crust up to Marion Lake, soft  above the lake

 

q  LAYERS OF CONCERN? Early March rain crust, but it was buried about 4 feet down.  Otherwise no movement was observed; no glide cracks, wumping or surface sloughing.

 

q  RECENT AVALANCHE ACTIVITY/OBSERVATIONS  On the way up to Marion Lake we crossed several south facing chutes that had run  during the latest warm-up.

 

q  STABILITY TEST?   Yes @ elevation 6500’ north face Essex Mtn above Marion Lake.     ECTN13Q2@30cm

 

q  COMMENTS: No recent skin tracks were evident on the way up, so either no one has been up there in quite a while (seems unlikely) or there was enough new snow and wind since Saturday to erase all evidence. A light sun crust was present up to the lake, but this crust was not evident on the way down due to warming temperatures.  On the hike up to Essex ridge we encountered heavier snow on the lower half of the ascent, and increasingly lighter snow on the upper half as expected. This lighter snow led to some great face shots and “cold smoke” turns. The snowpack is as deep as I’ve ever seen it up there, with no evidence of the dreaded alders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avalanche Observations        None

NUM

SIZE

LOC

TRIGGER

 

TYPE

INC

ASP

ELEV

COMMENTS:

(Est. Depth, Width, Failure Layer, Timing)